Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

29 June 2015

Switzerland: Published Comments on Electrosmog - 1

For the past six years, the Editor of this blog has had opinion pieces on the issue of electrosmog published in two major Swiss newspapers, the Tribune de Genève and 24 heures.  Comments must be related to articles published in these newspapers and limited to 1400 - 1700 characters.  We have been able to stretch our imagination and write about many aspects of the E-smog issue in Switzerland.  Most of these have never appeared in the mainstream media here.  The editors of these columns have been favorable to publishing nearly all of them.  Readers are invited to share these with others and use them for awareness-raising.    We have had very few reactions, but believe, that if the awareness of risks of electromagnetic radiation of just one or two persons is raised, then this exercise is not in vain.

All comments were originally written in French.

Breast Against Cell Phone: Danger
Tribune de Genève, 19-20 October 2013

Breast cancer in young women is increasing in Geneva. This trend has been confirmed by studies in other parts of Europe. Could one of the reasons be the habit of young women of keeping their cell phone tucked in their bra? The makers of cell phones warn users to avoid direct contact with the skin. The manual of Apple, for example, advises keeping one’s iPhone at a distance of 5/8 of an inch from the body, since these devices emit electromagnetic radiation, classified as a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization. In the United States, doctors are seeing more and more breast cancer in women aged 21 to 39, who have no genetic predisposition to cancer but who, for several years, have been carrying their cell phone in their bra for part of the day. These tumors are sometimes aggressive and, in spite of a mastectomy, the cancer metastasizes. Keeping a cell phone in the bra is more common than one would think among young women: during jogging, driving a car, hiding it at school and at work… Raising awareness of young women of the risks of this practice must now be a part of campaigns for the prevention of breast cancer.

Wi-Fi at the Children's Hospital
Tribune de Genève, 6 June 2011

The modernization of the Children's Hospital at HUG (Geneva's university hospital) in order to improve the comfort of its patients is an excellent initiative. Since 2008, this "comfort" also includes wireless access to the Internet (Wi-Fi) in children's rooms. This place of healing has installed a technology which emits eletromagnetic fields similar to those of cell phones, classified just recently by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, as "possibly carcinogenic" to humans. The responsible authorities at HUG confirmed last December that they would continue to offer this service in the "absence of proof of the effects of Wi-Fi on health, but also absence of proof of the total harmlessness of this technology". On 27 May 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which Switzerland is a member, adopted a resolution on the potential danger of electromagnetic fields, and recommended wired access to the Internet, especially for children. Such declarations by institutions of authority should incite those who take responsibility to protect vulnerable persons from the potential health risks of electromagnetic fields, by not installing wireless technology in hospitals, retirement homes and schools.

Effects of Wireless Telecommunications Devices
Tribune de Genève, 1st November 2010

On 26 October, the Tribune de Genève published an article on the telecommunications network in Switzerland.  People are demanding improvement in the quality of the network without being aware of the risks to their health.  Scientific studies have suggested a link between electromagnetic fields and all kinds of health problems, including cancers and neuro-generative diseases.  The utilization by children and adolescents of cell phones and computers equipped with Wi-Fi is particularly harmful, as it can cause hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, and memory and concentration problems.  

Four billion persons in the world are hooked on this technology which to date has earned nearly one trillion dollars for the industry.  This is the reason for the telecommunications industry's attempts to cover up the truth about health risks.  It is thus the responsibility of consumers (parents, employers and educators) to inform themselves in order to protect others from the harmful effects of this technology.  It is up to them to raise awareness so that legislators can impose stricter regulations, such as banning the use of cell phones in children under age 14 and of computers equipped with Wi-Fi in schools.

Communication:  What Effects?
Tribune de Genève, 15 January 2011

The Communications Museum in Bern is announcing the creation of a space for reflection on the cultural and sociological effects of communications technology.  The exhibit will not, however, include mention of the harmful effects of electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones.  These waves are particularly dangerous for children whose brains absorb more radiation then adults.  

It is the responsibility of our educators, such as museums, to inform us about the risks of this technology:  cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, weakening of the immune system.  Instead, the organizers of this exhibition encourage the visitor to use his cell phone in order to access audio information which does not include this aspect of communication.  At least, advice could be given about safer use of cell phones, such as limiting conversations to a strict minimum - better, "texting" instead of calling, using headsets, keeping the cell phone away from one's body, as it radiates even when switched off.  Scientists are already talking about a scourge that could be worse than that of tobacco.  How much suffering must we endure before all scientists and authorities accept the proof of the devastating biological effects of this technology?

Not wanting to know
Tribune de Genève, 5 April 2011

I thank the author of the commentary "we are suffering from over-growth".  Indeed, we talk only about growth.  A rapid pullout from nuclear energy will be expensive for Swiss businesses which will not accept an economic slowdown.  Consumption is increasing with the growing population.  In order to preserve the environment, we must put a brake on this tendency:  demographic control and acceptance of consuming less.  

A cell phone can last five years, yet people buy new models on average every 18 months.  The manufacture of electronics requires mining with serious ecological and social consequences.  Used cell phones are being resold, but most are just thrown away.  This electronic waste is sent to other countries for dismantling by hand which exposes people to highly toxic substances.  But we think only of acquiring the latest gadget.  Another example of egotism:  older persons who say they will not see what follows.  Those left behind will be our children, who will be confronted with the consequences of environmental degradation, such as nuclear waste lasting 40,000 years.  Our worst choice is to not want to know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.